Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Button pin calling for humanitarian support

Object | Accession Number: 1992.68.3

Pin-back button, manufactured by the Whitehead & Hoag Company (W&H) in Newark, New Jersey. The central image is based on a 1915 bronze sculpture by Jules Louis (Leon) Butensky titled “Goles” (Yiddish for diaspora) and known as “Exile” in English. Button pins were used to rally support for a variety of causes, and similar buttons were commissioned by the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War and for a Relief Ball in March 1916. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, increased antisemitism, rapid modernization, and deepening economic problems led a large proportion of the Jewish population to emigrate from Eastern Europe. By the time World War I broke out in 1914, Jewish emigres exceeded 3.5 million. Many Jews living in the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires in Eastern Europe were displaced due to military campaigns, and fled to other countries to escape persecution. After the war, the United States became increasingly isolationist, with the Quota Act of 1921 and Immigration Act of 1924 severely restricted the number of refugees that could enter the country. In the decade leading up to World War II, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party’s increasing persecution and suppression of Jewish rights led more Jews to flee Germany. However, the strict quotas and the growing anti-immigrant sentiment limited the number of Jewish refugees able to immigrate to the United States. Jewish leaders employed a variety of overt and behind-the-scenes tactics to encourage the American government to take action, but the majority of citizens continued to oppose allowing refugees into the country.

manufacture:  1916 March
manufacture: Newark (N.J.)
Identifying Artifacts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 17:22:50
This page: